Hugging it Out

Group organizes protest at Rite Aid

by Yusef Najafi
Published on November 1, 2007, 12:00am | Comments

There was lots of love at the Rite Aid Pharmacy, at 13th and U Streets NW, on Tuesday, Oct. 30. About 50 people showed up to hug, protesting the actions of a store manager who earlier this month allegedly kicked out a gay Silver Spring couple for hugging.

The "hug-in" was organized by "The New Gay," an online blog that describes itself as "postgay."

The "Hug-in Action Plan," posted on the blog just hours before the event, outlined instructions for those wanting to participate: Meet at Nellie's Sports Bar, in Northwest, around 6:30 p.m.; wait for a "catalyst couple" to hug first; then hug your mate "for as long as you want."

And that's what they did.

Included in the mix was one heckler, who walked through the store while making anti-gay comments, a Metropolitan Police Department officer and Councilmember Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who says his office has been in contact with the Rite Aid Pharmacy.

Ashley Flower, a spokesperson for the corporation, tells Metro Weekly: "We are looking into this matter, and we will take disciplinary action if need be....

"One of our core values is to be a place where our customers are treated with respect and dignity, and where they feel appreciated and welcomed."

For more information, visit www.thenewgay.net